Metal panelling fitted over the windows Photo: ABC

Ashford Borough Council’s Housing department has been successful in working with Kent Police, social services and local residents to gather evidence, make an application for, and obtain a Full Closure Order at one of their social housing flats.

At a hearing presented by the Council’s in-house Legal team at Margate Magistrates Court on 18 November 2022, an order was secured for three months. This can if necessary be extended by application for a further three months.

A Full Closure Order is where no one, including the tenant, can stay. Obtaining such an order is no easy task and is not an application that the Council makes lightly. The process requires a multi-agency approach.

In this case an injunction, allowing the tenant to remain in the property but preventing access by others, had been obtained but not complied with or found to address the issues.

Front door secured with metal panelling Photo: ABC

The defendant, of Belmont Place in Ashford, did not attend the hearing and the application proceeded in her absence, the court being satisfied that she had been served with the application and was aware of the hearing.

The Full Closure Order was made on the grounds that:

  • a person has engaged, or (if the order is not made) is likely to engage, in disorderly, offensive or criminal behaviour on the premises, or;
  • the use of the premises has resulted, or (if the order is not made) is likely to result, in serious nuisance to members of the public, or;
  • there has been, or (if the order is not made) is likely to be, disorder near those premises associated with the use of those premises;
  • and that the order is necessary to prevent the behaviour, nuisance or disorder from continuing, recurring or occurring.

The court heard that the tenant along with her ex-partner and visitors had been making other residents’ lives a misery through noise disturbance, intimidation and crime. 

Council Housing officers worked with neighbours to collate the evidence of anti-social behaviour that led to the court hearing and the successful application. Following the case, the order was served on the tenant, while officers also visited all the residents in the block to explain the outcome. Now all windows and the front door have been secured with metal panelling to stop the tenant and anyone else getting into the flat. 

Cllr Andrew Buchanan Ashford Borough Council’s portfolio holder for housing, said: “Obtaining these closure orders requires a lot of hard work and incredibly close partnership working. We thank Kent Police for their unstinting ongoing support to help reduce ASB in neighbourhoods for our residents. We are pleased that the courts continue to take these offences so seriously and trust that this Full Closure Order will alleviate concerns of residents in this area.”  

Sergeant Kim Cameron, of Ashford Community Safety Unit, said: “Kent Police is determined to tackle anti-social behaviour, which can have a huge impact on residents’ lives and well-being.

“I am pleased that by working together with Ashford Borough Council and other partner agencies we have been able to close down this property. I would urge anyone who is experiencing anti-social behaviour or harassment to report it to police as soon as possible, so we can take action.”

By Ed

©2024 Hawkinge Gazette       -       The Hawkinge Gazette is not responsible for the content of external sites